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Public Discussion on Yerevan Thermal Power Plant Substation Reconstruction

30.08.2017
The 1st public discussion on the preliminary assessment of the reconstruction of the 220/110/35 kV substation of the Yerevan TPP was held today at Yerevan Aarhus Center. The substation reconstruction works are being implemented with the support of the World Bank within the framework of the project “Improvement of Electricity Transmission Network” with a loan of USD 30 million. The preliminary evaluation of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) application was carried out by “Consecoard” LLC.
According to company director Vram Tevosyan, the substation construction does not have any adverse environmental impact. Yerevan Thermal Power Plant is located in the southern part of the city in the industrial district. Nearby residential “Erebuni” and “Noragavit”

neighborhoods are about 2500-3000m from the TPP. The nearest residential neighborhoods “Erebuni” and “Noragavit” are at about 2500-3000m distance from the TPP. According to the speaker, there are some families’ temporary living nearby the TPP, with the request of solving their accommodation issues the TPP management has applied to the mayor of Yerevan.

According to the document discussed, the Yerevan TPP will have a 220 kW substation, which will create conditions to reduce the frequency of equipment failures, increase the reliability and efficiency of the substation’s operation, and will enable to transmit the electricity produced by the thermal unit to the system.

Edward Arzumanyan, energy expert of “Consumers Support Center” NGO participant of the discussion, raised a number of technical, as well as non-compliance with the reality of the information and documents concerning the activities of the operating unit issues.
According to his assessment, the temperature of the exhaust gas (CO2) was 95-100O C previously, now more than 200OC, which is unacceptable, and pointed out the reason for such a high temperature exhaust. It is assumed that at the thermal power block is not produced hot vapor and hot water, instead, the heat is released into the atmosphere.

The authors of the EIA preliminary application of the Yerevan TPP 220/110/35-kW substation reconstruction, said that they are only responsible for the construction of the substation, and therefore do not have jurisdiction to clarify issues regarding the TPP activity. The representative of “Yerevan TPP” CJSC offered to get acquainted with the substation on the site and get answers to the questions. The substation should also serve the Yerevan TPP-2 generating unit to which construction a permit has already been issued.

With this regard, the experienced energy expert Edward Arzumanyan commented that overloading Yerevan with another TPP is unacceptable, especially because its construction is justified by supplying electricity to Iran, while Iran plans to build two nuclear power plants, after which it will no longer need to purchase electricity from Armenia, so in the future we will have a surplus of electric energy and a heavy environmental burden.

The representatives of the non-governmental organizations presented at the event also share this view. (Let’s remind that Hrazdan -5 thermal power station currently operates within 30-40% of its capacity).

Taking the opportunity, NGOs participating in the discussion decided to apply to the Ministry of Nature Protection requesting the records of the public hearings on the EIA document for the construction of Yerevan TPP 2nd Power Unit, in order to understand on what basis the building permit was issued.

Edward Arzumanyan considered it very surprising that the foundation of that new thermal block was put into operation in May, and in June the National Assembly affirmed the state program 2017-2022 submitted to the Government, in which that object is not envisaged.

Mari Chakryan,
“Public Awareness and Monitoring Center” NGO
Translated by Anush Beybutyan